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  • Writer's pictureVote Smart Research Team

How the Leadership in Washington Is Responding to COVID-19


President Trump Since March 13, President Trump has held daily press briefings with Vice President Pence and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to go over the latest COVID-19 developments. You can find the transcripts for each briefing here.

Senate Majority Leader Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has given multiple speeches on the floor of the U.S. Senate in response to COVID-19, including one on March 25 where he assured Americans that "...the Senate will act to help the people of this country weather this storm." Find all of his statements on the coronavirus here.

House Majority Leader House Leader Nancy Pelosi has made many statements on how Congress has been responding to COVID-19, including sending letters to Democratic colleagues and tweets to the general public. Find all of her statements on the coronavirus here.



Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act In an effort to send aid to American businesses and workers, members of Congress negotiated an economic stimulus package. On March 23, the Senate voted 49-46 to not advance the first version of the bill. After increased negotiations, the Senate unanimously passed the bill with amendment on March 25, and was passed by the House and signed into law by the President on March 27. You can view our complete coverage of the bill here.

HR 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act On March 14, the House of Representatives passed the initial version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, with a vote of 363-40. You can see how your representatives voted here.

Senate Vote on HR 6201: Families First On March 18, the Senate passed the revised version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included a variety of benefits for working and unemployed Americans. President Trump signed the act into law the same day. Read Vote Smart's synopsis and highlights here.


Impact on the 2020 Election Cycle

One-On-One Debate On March 15, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in the eleventh Democratic Debate. Read the full transcript, which includes their plans on how to fight COVID-19, here.

Which Presidential Primaries Have Been Postponed? So far Puerto Rico and eleven states -- Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York -- have all pushed back their presidential primary elections. You can view the entire primary calendar here to see when each rescheduled date is.

Changes to Campaigning To encourage social distancing, the Biden, Sanders, and Trump campaigns have halted all in-person campaigning and have moved to the virtual world. Sen. Sanders said in a March 8 interview that his campaign was not "going to endanger the health of anybody in this country," while former Vice President Biden said on March 15 that COVID-19 is "bigger than any one of us." President Trump, taking advice from the CDC to "postpone large gatherings," has not held a campaign rally since March 2nd.


Vote Smart, like other organizations, has made efforts to fight COVID-19 in our community.

The only people that will be coming into the Vote Smart office for the foreseeable future are National Director Walker McKusick and four others. Our Research, Courage Test, and Development & Communications Directors, along with our Office Manager & Internship Coordinator, will be in to assist the 20 staff members and multiple interns who are working remotely during this time.

To all Vote Smart supporters, from President Richard Kimball: "Stay safe, this world cannot afford to lose you."


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